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Invited Commentary
Jan 28, 2013

Atrial Fibrillation Ablation, Symptoms, and Stroke Risk: Comment on “Discerning the Incidence of Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Episodes of Atrial Fibrillation Before and After Catheter Ablation (DISCERN AF)”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Health Services Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(2):156-157. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.2476

The public health burden of atrial fibrillation (AF) is considerable: AF affects an estimated 2.6 million Americans1 and increases the risk for ischemic stroke 2- to 7-fold, likely as a result of thromboemboli from the left atrium. Most patients require treatment with anticoagulants to reduce the risk for stroke, but these therapies increase the risk for bleeding. Many but not all patients with AF experience arrhythmia-related symptoms such as palpitations, syncope, and reduced-exercise capacity. Thus, the therapy for AF aims to reduce arrhythmia-related symptoms and the risk for ischemic stroke.

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